Some big free-agency news broke late Wednesday afternoon when Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal reported that free-agent center fielder B.J. Upton and the Atlanta Braves were in agreement on a contract.
CBS Sports' Jon Heyman quickly followed with a similar report, but as we've learned in recent years with free-agency signings and trades, you can't count on any agreements as official or confirmed until pen goes to paper or commissioner Bud Selig gives his final approval.
Thankfully, we won't have to wait that long in this case, as within minutes of the original reports Upton himself confirmed the agreement with the simple change of his Twitter avatar to an Atlanta Braves "A" logo. That would seemingly indicate the only thing left standing in the way of the signing now would be the failure of Upton's pending physical, which isn't expected to be an issue.
Also on Upton's timeline was a remembrance message he tweeted for Marvin Miller, who passed away on Tuesday at age 95, thanking the former labor leader for the impact he made on the game and the doors he opened up.
I want to take a minute to remember Marvin Miller and thank him for all he has done for us players past present and future. #thankyoumarvin
— BJ Upton (@BJUPTON2) November 27, 2012
According to a later Rosenthal report, the 28-year-old Upton will sign a five-year deal worth $75.25 million to roam around the Turner Field outfield, where he'll replace fellow free agent Michael Bourn. That would appear to be a steep price to pay to replace a guy who actually performed at an All-Star level in 2012, but Upton is the younger player by two years and I don't think you could argue against Upton's ceiling being much higher than that of Bourn's.
Granted, it may not quite work out that way, but I think this will end up much closer to a bargain than mistake for Atlanta assuming Upton's walk rate and batting average reach healthier rates against National League pitching. Should that happen and should Upton's power numbers stay steady, this deal will also work out quite well for him, as he'll enter free agency again at age 33 where another significant three or four-year deal will be waiting.
On paper, I'll call it a great fit for both sides and a win-win contract. But, as always, that's subject to change quickly and without rational explanation.